Equator Initiative-winning association established by fishers from eight villages to manage a community conserved area with the aim of improving local incomes, strengthening food security and sovereignty, and protecting biodiversity. The association was started in response to declining fish catches and in recognition of the need for a community-driven resource management plan. The tropical estuary ecosystem is now managed through a zoning system based on the traditional zoning practice. In red zones (or sacred groves) fishing is not permitted, in orange zones fishing is limited to local fishers, and in yellow zones fishing is open to all, but there are equipment restrictions (no motorized boats, no monofilament nets) and minimum catch size limits.
Once a month, fishers work on behalf of the association, dedicating the sale of their catch towards conservation and surveillance needs. Monitoring shows a 100 percent increase in fish abundance and significant improvements in marine biodiversity since the initiative began. Women in the community have formed an association of shellfish collectors, creating a similar set of rules for management and extraction. The larger association was the first of its kind in Senegal, unique in engaging local and regional governments to legally recognize community fishing rights.
c/o Bureau de la Communauté Rurale, Mangangoulack, Casamance, Senegal